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Sharon Hopkins wins Janet and George Voinovich Faculty and Staff Leadership Award

Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Service Dean Tracy Plouck recently recognized Sharon Hopkins, director of the Ohio APEX Accelerator at Ohio University, as the 2023 recipient of the Janet and George Voinovich Faculty and Staff Leadership Award. 

Given out once every two years, this award highlights Voinovich School faculty and staff who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and honors the multi-faceted legacy of the late Sen. George V. Voinovich.  

“Sharon’s collaborative and empowering approach to leadership has been a key ingredient in our APEX Accelerator’s expansion in recent years,” Plouck said.  “She is deeply respected by her team and leads in a manner that is reflective of Senator Voinovich’s legacy.” 

Hopkins’ dedication and hard work made her an ideal candidate for the award. She started working at the Voinovich School in 2002 as the director of the Procurement Technical Assistance Center, renamed the Ohio APEX Accelerator at Ohio University, as the only employee. 

“I am honored, and it warms my heart that people thought to nominate me,” Hopkins said. “It especially means a lot because of my long history of serving in capacities important to me, the region, and Senator George Voinovich.” 

The APEX Accelerator provides technical assistance and one-on-one consulting to small businesses looking to enter local, state and federal government markets to sell their products and services. Today, Sharon’s team of 11 serves 62 Ohio counties with offices in Akron, Athens, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, and Dayton. Her clients have been awarded $1.1 billion in government contracts. 

Hopkins plans to use the award in a non-traditional way as she plans to share the award funding with her team and herself. 

“Traditionally, the award money is to be used for professional development and I’ve actually asked if I could share the award with my team,” Hopkins said. “My intent is to find some type of leadership program that a group of us can do together.” 

February 28, 2024
Tre Spencer